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MSU professor calls for entire Board of Trustees to step down, calls for appointments

Posted at 4:59 PM, Oct 21, 2022

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The leadership at Michigan State has been battling for months, and now, one MSU professor says it may be time to clean house.

“I think that focusing on competence and background of board members is more important than party loyalty," said Professor Jack Lipton, who serves as the chair of Translational Neuroscience at MSU.

Lipton also serves as chair of the University Committee on Academic Governance and says that in the last few months, MSU’s current Board of Trustees has made some troubling decisions.

"It endangers the future of the university," he said.

Here's the timeline.

In August, the dean of the Broad College of Business, Professor Sanjay Gupta stepped down over concerns about him not reporting Title IX violations. Then in September, rumors circulated that President Samuel Stanley would be forced out by the board. In the weeks that followed, the Faculty Senate and the Associated Students of Michigan State University both approved votes of no confidence in the Board of Trustees. Last week, President Stanley resigned citing concerns about the board.

Stanley said he could not "in good conscience serve this board as constituted."

“The Board of Trustees put out a statement that said we can, based upon our understanding of our charge, we can do anything we want, essentially, if it's in the best interest of the university. And I think it's a very overly broad view of their job. If that was their job, then they should apply to be presidents of universities," Lipton said.

Lipton expressed these concerns about the board at the University Council meeting Tuesday night, where the body also overwhelmingly approved votes of no confidence in the board.

Lipton said he would like to see the board resign so the governor can appoint members.

“This board needs to kind of get back in its lane," he said. "Ultimately, I would love for this board to to resign and let the governor appoint members of the board, but I doubt it will happen," he said. "All in all, I think that the thing that's missing for this board is experience and training.”

FOX 47 reached out to the governor’s office to learn more about the process of appointment and to the Board of Trustees for comment on the calls for their resignation but have not heard back.

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